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Raised container flower bed

Posted by honalee 3a (My Page) on
Tue, May 29, 12 at 10:13

I have a large container of sorts that I would like to fill with flowers. Any ideas on what to put in this container bed? Can be tallish for the middle and trailing for the sides. Sun loving and colorful. Even a mixture with vegies? Any ideas?

Ginny


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Raised container flower bed

I like to mix containers up and see what it looks like. I limit mine to things I can grow from seed because I refuse to spend $30 on a container like you end up paying at garden centres these days!

What I'm growing this year, all easy from seed, is:

(Tall, central) Abutylon (Flowering Maple), Aster violet stripe, dwarf Nicotiana, Salvia Victoria Blue.
I have also in the past used a Canna in the middle, they're nice.

Shorter but not hanging: Cuphea (cigar plant), Aster Starlight, Salpiglossis (painted tongue), Sweet Williams.

Hanging or sprawling: Phlox Twinkle Mix, Trailing Petunias.
I'm also a fan of Bidens, Million Bells, and Lobelia but they aren't an option from seed. (I can't grow lobelia from seed to save my life)

BTW one of my planters is low and round and I planted it with Nicotiana and Cigar Plant and it's called the Ash Tray. LOL I am so funny.


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I also like to look at what the city is planting in the median containers, sometimes the have some really nice combos! Last year they did purple petunias with limelight sweet potato vine, and dark purple dracena spikes. Maybe something else too I can't remember. It looked really nice.


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RE: Raised container flower bed

  • Posted by marric Z5a Ontario (My Page) on
    Tue, May 29, 12 at 12:13

I have a large planter, the opening is about 1.5' across. I plan to put a pink lavatera in the middle for height and some blue lobelia around it. Marg


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RE: Raised container flower bed

  • Posted by savona z2bBCCanada (My Page) on
    Tue, May 29, 12 at 16:06

I have a 4 x 6 foot raised flowerbed on my deck. I plant osteospermum, petunias, marigolds,alyssum,lobelia,phlox, felicia, dianthus, pansies and mini morning glories. what ever I have growing at the time of planting. It is a riot of colour all summer long...Jean


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RE: Raised container flower bed

Oh, the trouble I get into when I can't sleep! I think I just spent another $50 on plants and still don't have any idea exactly what I am going to put in this thing!

Gil, I like the idea of growing from seed but I think it may be a bit late to start this one. Maybe some nastutium and dwarf sweet peas. I guess some marigolds would do ok from seed still. Problem with containers is that they look "really" bare with seed....I was thinking of an ornamental grass or grain in the middle? Funny that I have always been able to grow lobelia easily.....too easily. I think it would get too much sun in this collection.

Marg, I thought of lavatera cause I love it. But I think it might be too tall and bushy. I was also thinking about cosmos but the same thing there.

Jean, I think this is what it will end up being. A kinda catch all of color. I like that. This year is going to be a little shabby chic around here. The shabby I have had for years in this old house so I thought I would make it a bit more colorful this year. :)

So far I have Milady Asters, Tornia, little white Chrysanthemums, Dianthus, Marigolds, and a few wave Petunias. And I just found a package of Munchkin Sunflowers that I had bought earlier this year. Maybe I will put those in the middle. I have an idea of what I'd like the effect to be but maybe it will just have to sort of come together with a bit of everyone's input. :) So far so good. Thank you :)

Ginny


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RE: Raised container flower bed

I have a similar problem with a raised in-wall metal container on the partial shady north side of our house. It's 8" deep and 8" wide but 124" (~5.5') long and I have been desperately trying to grow something in it for the past three years! So far I have transplanted goutweed and lamium but they both died within days! Now, I believe it was because of drainage and too much watering.

The previous owners and all our neighbours with similar houses plant annuals every year and I simply refuse to do the same. I would love to see it bursting with colors and variety!!!

I understand the drainage issue since there are no holes in this metal container, so now I am in the process of taking all the soil out and putting 1" gravel and top it with a layer of old t-shirts for separation before I top it with soil. Any alternative suggestions are welcome!!!

Now the next big question is: What do I plant in it? How? And ofcourse, WHEN? I love the idea of self seeding annuals/perennials as the roots of any plant will not survive the harsh winter of Edmonton in this narrow planter. Should I buy established plants and plant them, or just put seeds to let them grow next Spring?

All kinds of feedback will be appreciated!!!!


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So does it not have drainage because it would drain into the wall? Sounds like a very strange idea... Not easy to work in. I can't think of any perennial that would be happy in there, unless you try gout weed again and don't overwater it this time. If you can get it going maybe you could interplant it with begonias or impatiens. Or cover it up with something appropriate that has drainage?


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RE: Raised container flower bed

Thanks for the response, northspruce. You are right about draining into the wall, which is why I simply cannot drill holes into it.

The only perennial that I keep thinking of, is Lily of the Valley as it has shallow roots and may survive with a 6" depth. But I wont know till I try. And the only other option I am left with is self seeding annuals. However, with a full-time job, ongoing studies and two kids under 5, I need to find a low maintenance solution to a PITA container!

*Sigh*


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My suggestion would be Astilbe or Hostas for perennials and Schizanthus or Lobelia or Begonias for annuals. They all like water and will grow on the norht side in Edmonton or so has been my exoerience. :)

BTW, I finished my project and will post pics as soon as the sun comes out. :)

Ginny


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Looking forward to the pictures, Ginny. I guess we will have to wait till Thursday, as the forecast says the sun won't be out till then. I love all your suggestions for the annuals, and will be researching them tonight eagerly.

I just took advantage of kids taking a nap to completely empty the container and try to lift it to see where the water would go if I drill any holes. Unfortunately, it's built into the wall. So I went ahead and put 1" of small pebbles and topped it with some wire mesh and put the soil back into it.


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Lily of the Valley just might be the right thing for you Mercury.

Don't know about astilbe - it hates me. I have never managed to keep it alive anywhere.

For annuals, coleus are really nice and lots of different shapes and colours too.


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Mercury I would put kenilworth ivy in that container. It self seeds well too


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Well, I have 2 hostas that have been growing in their grower pots in our freezing cold Edmonton winters for the past 3 years and they are doing just fine. I think I bought them at Agrola on 137th Ave in the summer of 2008. I also just transplanted a Fata Morgana lily that had been growing in a plastic 5 x 6 x 24 inch $ store planter out in the yard. She finally has a spot in the front bed. :)

I will never understand why architects design these houses with metal lined planters. The only thing they are good for is dandilions, IMO. One of my neighbours puts silk flowers in his. :)

Gil, the only place I have ever been able to grow coleus is in the house and I love it. Maybe I will try it again outside. I didn't think I would ever be able to grow astilbe either. :)

Ginny


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RE: Raised container flower bed

Gil, thank you for +1'ing my LOV idea. I guess I am starting to sound like I know what I'm doing. LOL

justjoey, I am reading about kenilworth and the lowest zone I am reading that it can self-seed in is Zone 5. Have you been successful with it?

Ginny, I am loving the thought of seeing astilbe and hosta growing together. I will have to drop by Agrola for some of that hosta then, since I "may" have enough astilbe of my own. I am actually experimenting with direct sowing astilbe, columbine and dianthus in my wood half-barrel containers that I have facing south in my balcony. My mom laughed when I told her that I just emptied each pack of seeds into the container and will be happy with whatever grows. I sowed them in late april and they have only started to sprout last week. Can't wait for them to grow some more so I can tell which one is which! I had a nightmare last night that they were all dandelions... So amateur of me!

Ginny, I laughed when I read about your neighbour with silk flowers because that is what I pulled out from the bottom of my container yesterday from the previous owners!


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LMAO! This particular neighbour is a single dad with teenagers. So was my Dad after I lost my mom but he was a real gardener in this old house. :)

Good luck with the astilbe in full sun. I have never been able to keep them going through an Edmonton summer in full sun. They only grow in my yard up along the neighbours fence on the south side of my property. A bit of sun in the afternoon and first thing in the morning. Also, this yard is lower than that neighbour so it stays really moist there. I am going to try them on the east side of the deck in the bed I transplanted a bunch of iris from. It gets sun till about 1 pm on the far end. Up close to the deck, only till about 11 am. That's where those two very unhappy hostas are going too. :) I think I have a hosta from Botanus this year, somewhere in that mess out there.

Rain, rain go away, to quote Bobby Vinton. And be careful at Agrola. I can do a lot of damage to my wallet in that place. :)

Ginny


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RE: Raised container flower bed

Mercury, my kenilworth ivy comes back every year and I am in Calgary. I planted it in a container last year and it came back as well.


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I live in Blue Quill and our house is about 34 years old with big old trees. Even though it's a south facing backyard the trees along the south and west side cover all of my balcony and backyard allowing mere 4-5 hours of direct morning sun, which evidently makes day lilies and iris suffer with less blooms. I will have to move them soon to a sunnier spot too. If I can find one...

More astilbe and hostas for me...


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Joey - Thanks for confirming. I've got it on my list of "Must Find" since, as I am reading more and more about it, I am thinking of growing it as a wall cover rather than inside the planter. Hmmm....


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RE: Raised container flower bed

*Update*

So after adding the gravel and wire mesh at the bottom of the container, I threw a pack of Alyssum seeds into my PITA container on June 6th. I only watered it once as it's been raining alot too and I am so happy to say that almost all the seeds have sprouted!!!! Only eight more weeks before I see them flowering.

YAYYY!!!

Atleast the curse of the dead goutweed and lamium has been lifted!


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Yay for you Mercury! I picked up a couple of perennial Alyssum the other day at CT. I need some border stuff around my daylily beds. These are yellow. What colors did you plant?

I finished my project that started this thread. It will take a bit to grow over the ends but here it is in all it's glory. The poor old thing almost gave out. This wheelbarrow was made by my dad in 1947 and had the sides replaced sometime in the 70s. I can't begin to tell you all how my memories of the rides on top of fresh cut grass in this very yard never fail to bring me to tears.

Ginny

Photobucket


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Puff would be proud - beautiful wheelbarrow.


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Thanks CL! Puff is on the other side of the fence. The dogs protect Puff..... around here. :)

Ginny


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RE: Raised container flower bed

  • Posted by jel48 Z4 Michigan (My Page) on
    Wed, Jun 20, 12 at 10:29

Here's a photo of our largest 'container' bed. It's a 16 foot boat that someome set out on the side of the road with a 'free' sign. My instant thought was GARDEN! We planted lupines in the back, iris in the middle, a mix of creeping phlox and another low bloomer (whose name I can't recall at the moment) in the front. On each end we have liatris. I absolutely love it. We have a large anchor that we will add at one end as soon as we figure out a way to secure it, and want to build a 10-12 foot high lighthouse with solar light on the rock above/behind it.


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RE: Raised container flower bed

  • Posted by jel48 Z4 Michigan (My Page) on
    Wed, Jun 20, 12 at 10:36

Ginny, it sounds like your bed is coming together nicely!

Mercury, how about bog garden type plants for your wall container that has no drainage? I've put a link below, but otherwise search Google on Bog Gardens. I found there's even a hit or two on GW.

Here is a link that might be useful: Bog garden


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Love the boat Jel! Dad was a sailor and I am starting a memorial garden with nautical themes to it. Lighthouses are my first attration. Never thought about planting in a boat! Great idea! Thanks for sharing! It looks awesome!

Ginny

PS My Classic Navy iris just bloomed for the first time this morning. I'll post a pic on the iris thread. :)


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RE: Raised container flower bed

I'm sorry for not having posted anything recently. The alyssums are busy growing and I've been busy digging out the rock chips our previous home owners left behind on our front yard! I will talk about that in another post soon!

Ginny, I bought the Burpee's Royal Carpet Alyssum seeds that have purple blooms. I've read now that the white ones are the hardiest ones, so I am waiting to see how they do.

Thanks for mentioning the Bog garden, je148! If alyssum fails on me, then that is the route I will have to take. And that boat looks amazing. With the lighthouse, I can only imagine how good it would look.

Ginny, love the wheelbarrow. I just may steal that idea of yours!


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